SMALL LINED NOTEBOOK - ERIC RAVILIOUS CURWEN PRESS
Lined notebook 90 x 130 mm with 240 sides of recycled white paper.
The cover is from a wood engraving by Eric Ravilious.
Eric Ravilious (1903-1942) was a contemporary at the Royal College of Art with Edward Bawden and Paul Nash. He lost his life as a war artist in World War II. A highly accomplished wood engraver as well as a painter of distinction, he produced a number of patterns that were used in publications by the Curwen Press,. Few of his designs were published as pattern papers for general marketing.
Graham Moss tells the story of this pattern paper as follows:
Stevens-Nelson, successor to the Japan Paper Company, distributed Curwen papers in the USA under the name St Alban’s Papers, and often in the 1950s asked for new designs to be produced. It appears that an old block of Ravilious’s was then proofed up and issued, in colours of the period – this blue and a strong orange/vermilion. If you look at the unit as a wood engraving it very much suits the style of Ravilious’s work.’ In Praise of pattern Paper, Incline Press 1997.
The Curwen Press came into being in 1863 and its work in the early C20th had a strong focus on well-designed commercial printing. Contemporary artists were commissioned as illustrators and designers and in the 1920s, the Curwen Press began the production of a collection of iconic pattern papers, commissioning designs from young artists including Eric Ravilious, Enid Marx, Edward Bawden. Engraved patterns were transferred onto lithographic plates. They were used widely in publishing, for example by the Folio Society, by Penguin and by Hamish Hamilton in the Novel Library series. With the closure of the press in 1984, the manufacture of the papers came to an end.